Writers, Give This Gift to Yourself This Christmas

At the risk of sounding like all the other rah-rah writing coaches out there, I have a suggestion for a Christmas present to give yourself if you have any desire to write. Give yourself an hour, one hour every day or every other day or once a week, whatever fits your life and your desires and use that hour to do nothing but write. It is amazing how easy it is to get distracted into a million other things, many of which are related to writing but are not actually writing. I’m talking about just writing. I have been trying to do this lately, and it’s amazing how much I produce. Even on days when I don’t feel like it, I can write the garbage out in my journal and then discover I have time and energy to write something of greater value. In today’s hour, I did four journal pages, then outlined a blog post for my Unleashed in Oregon blog, for which I started with absolutely no idea what to write about, and then started this little ditty.

As all the gurus say, from Anne Lamott with her “Shitty First Drafts” to Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones to Julia Cameron with her Morning Pages , open up your writing brain by writing whatever comes to mind. Just let ‘er rip, and you will find that it enables you to focus on the writing that you want to do. It doesn’t matter whether you use a pen and paper, a computer or an iPad. Nor does it have to be in the morning, if you’d rather write at a different time of day. Magic happens. I promise.

So give yourself one hour. Take the phone off the hook if you can. Lock yourself in a room. Go to the coffee shop. Write in your car, if you have to. Sixty minutes, not a second less. Just try it. Merry Christmas from me.

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